Christmas fun?  Many people don’t think so either

Christmas fun? Many people don’t think so either

“For many people, Christmas is not only fun and exciting, it is also a difficult period,” says Gijs Rademaker, a pollster at RTL. “Our research shows that this applies to millions of people in the Netherlands and for various reasons.”

Loss of a family member

A quarter of respondents (24%) fear Christmas because it is precisely at that time that they feel the loss of a loved one: someone who has died or they no longer see otherwise. “My mother and sister passed away over the holidays,” one person wrote. “I should be cheering for the children, but my heart is crying.”

For others, it’s about the approaching goodbye: “This will be my last Christmas with my sick wife. After 43 years together, she will choose euthanasia in January.”

Another reason why many people dread Christmas is ‘obligations’. “This drives one in five people crazy,” Rademaker says. “Obligatory visits, first day of Christmas here, second day there. Not everyone likes to see family and in-laws. Conversations over the Christmas meal also worry a lot of people. This year many are sticking to topics like money, relationships and affairs.” Particularly to avoid discussing politics . And later in the evening, not making any comments about someone’s alcohol consumption.” Christmas costs are also a concern for 14 percent.

Singles feel lonely

“Unity” is a final important factor. “About 10 percent of people feel lonely during Christmas. Some spend it alone, others go to family dinners alone, or to a group of friends where everyone brings someone,” explains Rademaker. “No matter how warmly you are received, many people feel uncomfortable about it.”

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Overall, one in five particularly dread Christmas. A large majority (64%), despite some Christmas jitters, sometimes look forward to the upcoming holidays.


The survey was conducted from December 13 to 15 among more than 20,000 members of the RTL News panel. After weighting, the study represents five variables: age, gender, education, employment, and political preference. The RTL News Committee has more than 42,000 members.

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